Iowa’s defense is going to be without its freshman cornerback in the Outback Bowl.
On Tuesday, Kirk Ferentz confirmed that Manny Rugamba will miss the game due to a shoulder injury he sustained in the season finale against Nebraska. He was a starter in the Hawkeyes secondary and has been considered by some to be the next Desmond King for Iowa.
KF: Manny Rugamba is out, Cole Croston probably in.
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) December 28, 2016
Rugamba is out for the Outback. Won't play.
— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) December 28, 2016
This is another blow for Iowa’s defense, who will also be without Greg Mabin, who will be sidelined with a broken leg. Josh Jackson is expected to start in place of Rugamba.
Rugamba tallied 19 tackles, two interceptions, four pass break-ups and forced a fumble in his freshman season in Iowa City. His replacement, Jackson, had seven tackles on the year.
Iowa’s defense has lost some key guys, but fortunately, it’ll be pitted against a Florida offense that struggled all season long. The Gators ranked 109th nationally in scoring, averaging 23.4 points per game. They also ranked 13th in the SEC in total offensive production.
The Outback Bowl will be played on Jan. 2 and both Iowa and Florida enter the game with a record of 8-4.